By Mike Torpey on 2016-02-07 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
up! 1.0 5-door
STREET style doesn't come much slicker than with the coolest looking city car in town.
The Volkswagen up! has been vying for sales with soulmates the Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii since the trio arrived on the new car scene during 2012.
It is based on the flagship High up! trim which includes stuff like front fog lights, heated front seats and a Maps & More portable info device.
But the extra £610 purchase price also includes a raft of styling features too.
That means the likes of 16-inch alloy wheels, standard Pure White, Black Pearl or Reflex Silver paint and 65 per cent tinted glass.
Buyers also get Street badging decals, body coloured bumpers with chrome moulding on the front fog lights, leather steering wheel with up! logo,and scuff plates with yellow stripe, black roof lining, carpet mats and unique Street cloth upholstery.
The car is powered by the up!'s most powerful 1.0-litre petrol engine, a three-cylinder 75bhp unit mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
It makes for quite spirited performance from a car that's ideal for purpose - agile, nippy and great fun.
VW claims a potential 60.1 mpg on the combined cycle from a model that emits 106g/km of CO2.
That said, our predominantly urban fuel return was way down on the official figure at 43.4mpg.
While being one of the smallest four-seater cars around, the up! boasts surprisingly good passenger room due to a long wheelbase and forward-mounted engine.
In fact provided the front seats aren't slid fully back, a pair of adults can sit comfortably in the rear - with plenty of space between them too.
The 251-litre boot is also significantly larger than is typical in its class and when the rear seat is fully folded, cargo space is increased to a useful 951 litres.
If you fancy the Street style then the tab is on the high side at £12,485 for a five-door version.
At the cheaper end of the scale though the entry grade Take up! is a proper sound value car at £8,870, complete with cute design and trademark solid VW build.
There's just enough standard kit, an emphasis on safety with ABS and four airbags, comfortable seats and a decent CD sound system.
Volkswagen Street up! 1.0 5-door
Mechanical: 75bhp, 999cc, 3-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual transmission
0-62mph: 13.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 60.1
Insurance Group: 2
C02 emissions: 106g/km
Bik rating: 16%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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